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Newsletter April-May 2014

Newsletter April-May 2014

An eco-friendly waster water treatment system at the Silk Farm

Artisans Angkor has worked on an innovative waste water treatment system to reduce its ecological footprint. This new system was implemented at the Angkor Silk Farm site near Siem Reap, and is fully operational. It is a forward-thinking project in Cambodia as it is the only one in the country – and probably in South-East Asia!

1 Water treatmentThis new waste water treatment system works byphytoremediation” which treats environmental issues by restoring the balance through the use of plants’.

Phytoremediation refers to the ability of certain plants to bioaccumulate, degrade or render harmless the waste water to be treated.

Thanks to this natural water treatment system, no chemical is used to clean waste water. The latter can then be reused for watering the mulberry trees feeding silkworms or even for the silk dyeing process… The remaining treated water can be naturally poured in the surrounding areas without any harm to nature.

The system also proves to be environment-friendly during its maintenance phase. Indeed, maintaining the system mainly consists in gardening, which will be ensured by two experienced gardeners who had received almost 1-year long training on that matter. Besides, its extreme low electrical consumption makes it an energy saver, which is also beneficial to the environment.

Alongside its efforts to preserve traditional skills, Artisans Angkor also aims at leveraging the most innovative techniques towards a same objective: sustainable development.

 

Artisans Angkor: an ASEAN example for Corporate Social Responsibility in Cambodia

In June, Artisans Angkor had the privilege to be featured as an example of CSR (Corporate Social Responsibility) in a technical workshop organized by the ASEAN Commission on Human Rights in Singapore.

2 ASEAN-EmblemFor this occasion, Artisans Angkor was the only Cambodian company that was invited to this meeting to share its experience and practices. This great honor was made possible thanks to the Cambodian delegation in charge of this project.

A working group worked closely with Artisans Angkor and thoroughly analyzed our CSR program, and then selected us to illustrate a practical application of the CSR rules in Cambodia.

This program is under the responsibility of H.E. Mr. OM Yentieng, who is the President of the Anti-Corruption Unit of Kingdom of Cambodia since 2010. His extensive experience in politics includes positions in various governmental fields such as Culture, Justice Affairs, Cambodian Human Rights, Anti-Terrorism and so on.

 

Our artisans’ kids learn and have fun with public reading

3 Sipar reading booksDuring the month of May, Sipar association came at the Angkor Silk Farm and other rural workshops to perform reading shows for our artisans’ children. Both children and their parents shared entertaining moments of learning.

Sipar is an NGO created 22 years ago to fight illiteracy in Cambodia’s countryside, notably by giving public reading and shows to rural children. Thanks to their nicely customized mobile libraries, Sipar’s volunteers travel into Cambodian villages to pass on the taste for reading to children, and even adults. Volunteers distribute books and tell traditional stories which are parts of Khmer culture and folklore.

As Artisans Angkor and Sipar share the same goals of development and empowerment through education, it was only logical that a partnership between the two would be undertaken. This cooperation was quite a success as it gathered about 120 children, from 2 to 6 years old, during the two days Sipar readers came to visit Artisans Angkor. Parents also attended to the performance, becoming more and more numerous as they heard children laugh.

3 Sipar puppet 

What happens during a show? It all starts with a magic trick to catch the attention of the kids and then continues with a colorful puppet performance that usually amaze children. The entertainment keeps on with the reading of a short story illustrated by animated drawings. Finally, to conclude the session, books are handed out to children and parents so that they can read them together sharing a privileged moment.

 

 

 

Opening of the Mekong-Ganga Textile Museum

4 Museum display boardsArtisans Angkor had the great honor to be chosen to work with the Cambodian delegation for the decoration of the recently opened “Mekong-GangaTextileMuseum.” This recently opened museum, which is located on the road to the Angkor temples, aims at showcasing the variety of traditional textiles made by hand in some South-East Asian and South Asian countries – Cambodia, India, Myanmar, Vietnam, and Laos.

 

4 Compressed entering of ministersThree main galleries form the museum structure:  the first one introduces material and processes used to produce fabrics in each country, the second one displays traditional textiles and the third one features contemporary fabrics, accessories, clothes, etc.

Each area of those galleries that features Cambodia was decorated by Artisans Angkor and therefore showcases the silk-making process that can be seen at the Angkor Silk Farm, that is, from silkworm farming to silk weaving, as well as traditionally hand-woven silk scarves and clothing.

The opening ceremony of this museum took place on April 7th in the presence of high representatives of Cambodia and India, including H.E. Cambodia’s Vice Prime Minister Mr. SOK An, who explained in a public speech that the museum was a good initiative to preserve South-East Asian handicrafts and to make them looking like works of art.

 

 

Exhibition in Angkor for Khmer New Year 2014

5 Chess - Angkor SangkranThis year, Artisans Angkor was the highlight of Angkor Sangkran celebration that took place at the Angkor temples. Those of you who are not familiar with the terms “Angkor Sangkran” will be pleased to learn that it is a cultural celebration that takes place in Angkor which features trade fairs, concerts and traditional Khmer dancing and games that are usually played at that time, such as giant tug of war, sack of potatoes race, chess…

 

5 Angkor SangkranThis event celebrates the end of the harvesting season that happens mid-April at the same time as Khmer New Year. It is a joyful period during which farmers enjoy the fruits of their labor before the beginning of the rainy season. It is organized in cooperation with the Apsara Authority (institution in charge of the preservation of the temples) and several Cambodian Ministries (Tourism, Information, Education, Youth and Sports, and Culture and Fine Arts).

 

5 Angkor Sangkran artisansArtisans Angkor had the honor to be allocated the central lodge perfectly located in front of the majestic Angkor Wat to show its artisans’ skills and parts of its traditional silk and craft collection. It aimed at offering the visitors an overview of the diversity of Khmer craftsmanship: silk, lacquering, stone and wood carving… To liven up the stand, several talented artisans demonstrated their everyday work to amazed visitors.

The atmosphere was joyful and friendly and it sure was a nice way to celebrate Khmer New Year!

 

Extension of Artisans Angkor main showroom in Siem Reap:

Artisans Angkor is extending its main showroom in Siem Reap center! If you happened to pass by our site those days, you may have seen those colorful decorated walls that are meant to hide the renovation work that started in May.

6 Extension shop

By October 2014, our “showcase” boutique will feature a freshly built wing extending the current showroom by 150 square meters. This part of the shop will enable a larger display of our handmade products creating different types of atmosphere per corner of the shop and for the new collection to be released in a couple of months. … But shh, it’s still a secret!

Thanks to this more spacious showroom, we hope your visit will be even more enjoyable than before!

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